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Learn Mem. 1998 Jan-Feb;4(5):411-20.

Deficit in learning of a motor skill requiring strategy, but not of perceptuomotor recalibration, with aging.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22903, USA.


We investigated the effect of aging on different aspects of motor skill learning using two computer-presented perceptuomotor tasks. The relationship between visual and proprioceptive feedback was transformed in the first task, which was open to the formation and use of strategies. This task was designed to lead to perceptuomotor adaptation that was then measured by performance on a very similar second task that was not open to the use of strategy task. Older participants showed impaired learning of the strategic task but not of the nonstrategic task. This is in line with the suggestion that the effect of aging on learning and memory may be to reduce working memory resources.

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